Blogtember: Keep It Simple

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Sunday, Sept. 18: One product that simplifies your life.

I am cheating a little bit on this one. A while back I posted about how much I love my Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I have to have a paper planner and it took me a while to find the perfect one but now I couldn’t live without this planner. So I am going to link back to that post so you can all read my raves about Emily Ley and my weekly Simplified Planner! Enjoy!

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I can’t wait to see what product keeps your life simple? I can always use suggestions keeping it simple around here!

 

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Blogtember: Relax

 

 

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Friday, Sept. 16: How do you de-stress/take care of yourself?

By my nature I will give every last drop of myself to someone else. I have been burned by this in friendships and relationships many times in the past. But I think I have finally gotten to a place where the people in my life don’t take advantage of this fact. That being said I am the one who gets the phone calls when people are having a crisis at work or with their significant other. I get the phone call when there is a huge event coming up and they have nothing to wear and have to go shopping that very moment. I get the call when someone needs help picking out a gift. My phone blows up a lot.

Will has had many dinners interrupted by a friend with a boyfriend crisis. He has had to pause tv shows and movies more times than he can count because my phone won’t stop ringing. He is a trooper.

Because this is my default state I do sometimes have to remind myself to step back, turn off my phone and take some time to fill up my own tank. How can I help anyone else if my tank is empty.

One of the simplest ways for me to do this is to leave my phone at home. Stop and pick up a coffee and then head to my favorite nail salon for a mani/pedi. I always bring a book and read during my pedicure. Just this simple act has a way of relaxing me and I always feel better with my nails done.

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Another major way for me to relax is to sneak off to Will’s parent’s beach house for a weekend. That is the most relaxing place in the world to me. Drinking coffee on the porch, watching the sunset and reading on the beach recharge my batteries all the way.

I am really lucky to have a husband who notices when I am in need of a little recharge and reminds me to go take care of myself.

Well 15 days in to blogtember and I haven’t missed a day. All that will sadly change tomorrow. Tomorrow’s prompt was to do a vlog. I was really hesitant about this from the first time I saw it and just wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to do. Well it didn’t really matter since I never figured out a topic, time to do it or way to record it before we left for a wedding in NYC. So I will miss this one but I can’t wait to come back and see what everyone else did!

Blogtember: Adventures

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Thursday, Sept. 15: What is the craziest adventure you’ve ever been on?

There are so many ways to go with this. I could get all philosophical on you and say the greatest adventure was meeting and getting married to my husband. And that is true. There has been no greater adventure than convincing this very independent northern city girl to settle down and marry a southern boy. But I decided to go a bit more literal and talk about some of the things I have seen and done that are also adventurous.

I mentioned our honeymoon briefly in a previous blogtember post but it was definitely a crazy adventure from start to finish. When we were offered the opportunity to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon we had two options, Kona on the Big Island, or Maui. After consulting a friend who was actually born in Hawaii we opted for Kona because he said it was less touristy and more of an authentic Hawaiian experience.

We still could have chosen to lay on the beach the entire time we were there but we didn’t. We jokingly referred to our honeymoon as seeing Hawaii by land, air and sea.

By land: hiking the volcano national park and driving all over the island

By air: helicopter ride over an active volcano and ziplining over waterfalls

By sea: boat ride, snorkeling and swimming in the bluest water I have ever seen

We explored so hard on our honeymoon. We hiked and drove to random sites and swam and tried new food and basically said yes to trying anything that came our way. It wasn’t the honeymoon for everyone but it was perfect for us and it was definitely the craziest adventure I have ever been on.

What is the craziest adventure you have ever been on? Do you prefer a more relaxed honeymoon or one full of adventures?

Blogtember: Mood Board

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Wednesday, Sept. 14: Make a mood board! Are you brainstorming a room re-do, a capsule wardrobe, or already planning for the holidays? Show us your ideas!

I knew there would be tons of cozy fall and winter mood boards and some amazing holiday themed ones. There would probably also be some great room re-do ones that would give me all the heart eyes. So I knew if I did any of them I would just compare mine and think that everyone else had done a way better job!

I was struggling for a theme when my mother-in-law fussed at me the other day that she needed some birthday present ideas. So here is my birthday wish-list mood board!

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Vest // Perfume // Sneakers // Book // Bracelet // Bowl // Tea

The great thing about my November birthday is that it is far enough away from Christmas that I never get cheated but close enough that anything I don’t get for my birthday can just roll on to the Christmas list!

Special note on the Snarky Tea, this is a BRAND NEW company started by a friend I used to work with. She is off being an amazing entrepreneur now and I miss working with her. But her Snarky Tea is so great. I love tea but it is always so calming and tranquil in its packaging. These names are SO much better and fit great in real life! Go check them out!

What are you dreaming of this season? Anything already on your must-have Christmas list?

Blogtember: Freaky Friday

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Tuesday, Sept. 13: If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be? Why?

As I sit in the living room thinking up my answer to this I decided to pose the question to my husband. His response cracked me up.

Will: Oprah

Me: Why?

Will: She is a baller. She can basically do whatever she wants. And I want to just go around giving people shit. You get a car!

Not what I expected from him but it definitely made me laugh.

Now who would I switch lives with? I feel like I could go a couple different directions with this.

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Cam Newton: it would be awesome to be an NFL quarterback with incredible talent for one Sunday. This switch would have to be on a Sunday.

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Kanye West: I don’t always like him but you can’t deny the man has a genius mind for music. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket so it would be incredible to see what goes on in his head for a day.

But ultimately I landed on one.

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Barack Obama: Feel however you want about politics it would be incredible to be the president for one day. That’s probably as long as I could handle it too.

The moral of the story here is that I seem to want to be a black man for a day. I could probably learn a lot in that day!

Who would you switch lives with for a day?

 

 

Books, Books, Books

I’m double dipping in today’s very nerdy, book post. Today’s Blogtember prompt was about books and I needed to do my post for the Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap so I am combining them!

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My partner for the CG Swap was Amber who does a YouTube Vlog instead of a traditional blog. Props to her because there is no way you all would want to look at my hot mess self when I am blogging!

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She sent me The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert from my wish list. Anne of Green Gables and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. I have read Anne of Green Gables before but not since high school and I definitely want to read it again since Netflix is producing a new series. I can honestly say I have never heard of the last book but it’s got great reviews and I am really excited to read it.

I also got a cute stuffed owl, some owl page notes and a bookmark. Great job by Amber since I LOVE owls. They are all over the house. So much so that when my husband saw a new stuffed owl come out of the box he groaned. #sorrynotsorry Also Amber did a great job wrapping each book with little notes, but I got excited and ripped them all open before I took the photo. Oops.

Head over to see what I sent Amber too! I got all three of her books from my local used book store. I love buying used books. I prefer to think of them as previously loved!

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Monday, Sept. 12: Three books! One you just read, one you’re currently reading, and one you want to read.

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The book I just read was Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand. I inhaled this book while I was at the beach over the weekend. Her books are just perfect for beach reading in my opinion and I really enjoyed this one.

I am currently reading C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton. I have been going through the alphabet series again. I read A-J a while ago but never kept it up. This time I am going to get all the way through. Kinsey Milhone is my spirit animal with all her snark and attitude.

The one I want to read is actually three. The three I got from Amber above. I will probably start with the Elizabeth Gilbert book because she is my fav. But I will get through all three very soon.

So here are all my bookish things for the week. Gotta go read!

What books have you read lately? What is on your must-read list?

More Summer, Less Monday

More summer, less Monday has been my life motto the last few weeks but this week really feels like summer is over. We spent our last weekend at the beach that will allow for bikinis and sunburn. Next time we go will be Thanksgiving and we will have sweatshirts on. Which will still be great, but not summer. At least we sent this weekend out in style.

I am starting this weekend recap on Thursday. It was opening night for the NFL and our beloved Panthers were playing. We had about a dozen friends over to watch the game and eats lots of yummy tailgate food. It was a great night, right up until the final score.

Friday was a work from home day for me. Greensboro was hosting a big-deal National Folk Festival and since my office is right downtown in the midst of the crazy we were encouraged to work from home. It was great since I was able to do laundry and pack at the same time as work after a late night of watching football. Right at 5 p.m. I hopped in the car and headed to the beach to meet my in-laws and Will’s cousin Caitlyn for the weekend. Will had to work, and I definitely felt bad about leaving him behind, but I couldn’t resist the urge to get in one last beach weekend. Friday night was the first night we have spent apart since we got married and it was definitely a little weird. We both travel for work, so this was inevitable, but the first one still felt strange.

I got to the beach around 8:30 and we spent the night sitting on the deck listening to the waves. I was wiped from the drive and went to bed pretty early but my in-laws went for a stroll on the beach and ran in to some volunteers guarding a sea turtle nest just a few steps down from our house. They came back and Caitlyn and I we would have to go back tomorrow and see if they had hatched yet.

Saturday was a great day on the beach, reading, relaxing, and then heading out for a yummy seafood dinner and watching the sun set at our favorite spot. You can see it all in my Blogtember: Day In the Life post.

At the end of the night we decided to go down and see the sea turtle volunteers and sure enough we got there right as the nest was hatching. It was so cool to see them all racing to the water and trying to swim out! We weren’t allowed to take any photos or video because they confuse the light from the phone for the moon. You will just have to trust me that 73 baby sea turtles is the cutest thing in the entire world.

Sunday we spent a few more hours at the beach before showering and packing up to head home. We all made it home in time to have dinner with Will and get some much needed rest for the week. It was an awesome weekend and I can never get enough beach time. Having in-laws with a beach house is definitely awesome. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving there this year, our first one as a married couple!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend too! We have a ton going on this week and I am trying not to fall off the Blogtember bandwagon so expect tons of content (I hope!).

 

Linked at B Loved Boston, The Sirois FamilyLet it ShineMIMMWeekend Snapshot

 

Blogtember: Instagram

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Sunday, Sept. 11: Round up of your favorite Instagrammers! Who should we follow?

I tend to keep my Instagram follows to people I know in real life. And while I am obsessed with pictures of my friends kids and pets and trips to Starbucks you may not be. So I racked my brain and came up with a few accounts that you may life too.

  1. Carolina Panthers. You will definitely notice that football is a big part of life around here and we love our Carolina Panthers. They do a great job on their social media and I love their graphics and behind the scenes photos.
  2. All She Wrote Notes. This is a combination of someone I know in real life and an amazing business. She is a calligrapher who happens to be one of my dearest friends. Seriously, her shop and classes are amazing and I am so proud of her.
  3. Emily Ley. Not only does this woman keep my life organized as the creator of the Simplified Planner but her Instagram is a wonderful mix of quotes
  4. Danielle Flake. For all the dreamy wedding photos follow my favorite photographer. She also happens to have shot our wedding. She is amazing.

What are your favorite instagram accounts?

Blogtember: What A Day

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Saturday, Sept. 10: A day in your life! Take us through it with you by sharing a photo each hour of the day.

I meant to take a photo every hour last Saturday to do my day in the life. And I forgot. But my work days are so not worth documenting since I sit in a cubicle all day. So I never prepared for this the way I meant to. Instead I had the idea to do it LIVE today! With the handy WordPress app on my phone I am hoping I can do this throughout the day. And it should be a good one since I took off to the beach for the weekend with my in-laws and cousin. I have a reminder set on my phone for every hour. Let’s see how this goes. At the very least check back at the end of the day and I will have dumped them all in there by then.


The best part of being at the beach is not setting an alarm. But I still woke up around 7:30. At least I got to lay in bed until 8. 


  Coffee on the front deck is my favorite 


I headed down to the beach early so I had it entirely to myself. And I cracked open this new (to me) book. 


Eventually I got some company! My in-laws and Will’s cousin Caitlyn. She’s such an adorable 17-year-old! 


Time for an afternoon drink!


About 4 pm I ventured inside. Mostly because I was starving. 


Watching our Demon Deacons on the iPad because we don’t have cable at the beach house. 


DEACS won! So we headed out to watch the sunset. 


Girls love the beach at sunset


Followed by a late dinner. Crab cakes for me. Yum! 

We took a late night stroll down the beach and had perfect timing to see a sea turtle nest hatch and head down to the water! It was so amazing! I couldn’t take photos because they’d confuse the moon and the flash but just trust me it was incredible. 

And now I’m curling up in bed with a book. Thanks for tagging along for my day at the beach! 

Blogtember: Dream Trip

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Friday, Sept. 9: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

This is a no-brainer for me. Without question the No. 1 place to visit on my bucket list is Italy. Ok, so it is Italy, Sicily and Greece. So that is three places and not just one, but it is my bucket list and I can be greedy if I want to.

Originally when we got engaged and we started dreaming up the ideal honeymoon we both agreed on a Mediterranean cruise. This was just about the easiest decision ever. Well, shortly thereafter we realized we would be paying for our own wedding. So bye-bye Mediterranean cruise.

(Sidenote: We started planning a much smaller honeymoon to Charleston/Savannah but before we booked anything we were gifted an incredible trip to Hawaii. It was a total dream, so either way we would have passed on the Mediterranean cruise. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much we loved our honeymoon.)

Anyway, once we officially halted all Mediterranean planning we put it back on the bucket list for an anniversary trip. Three years if we are really lucky, if not five-year anniversary for sure.

Will has been to Italy as part of a Eurotour he did in college but I have never been to Europe at all. So he is going again. Sorry I am not sorry.

My maiden name is Carrubba and my paternal grandfather was born and raised in Sicily and came to America as a teenager. So going there is a must for me at some point in my life. And I have always wanted to go to Italy and Greece.

We figured a cruise would be a great way to see a bunch of locations and it is another thing that I have never done and always wanted to. We periodically look at cruises that hit all three of those locations and they usually also hit some other places that are interesting to us. Depending on where we fly in and our of we will also get in a day or two early or stay a day or two late and do some additional exploring.

In some ways I am glad I never got an opportunity to take this trip before because I am so much more excited to do it with my husband. And it will be great to see some things he saw already and mix in some new places to him as well.

Just a quick search revealed one we would absolutely LOVE! Rome > Crete > Mykonos, Greece > Ephesus, Turkey > Santorini > Athens > Sicily > Naples> Rome. Yes please!

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Have any of you done a Mediterranean cruise or been to Italy, Sicily and Greece? What are your must see spots? Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?